A question you see a lot of writers get asked is ‘where do you get your ideas.’ Most of the time, I have no clue. With my new release, The Lady of the Bog, I actually have an answer!
The story started with Rosemary. She was not a part of my plot for The Worst Behaved Werewolf. I had a different trajectory planned for the story, but Rosemary walked onto the page and calmly steamrolled things in her chosen direction. I was that impressed, I didn’t even complain! The story is stronger for her presence, Scott is delighted with his sister, and Julian with his friend. Rosemary, however, made it clear that she would only stay on her terms. I knew it wouldn’t be long before she demanded a story of her own.
It was not long, as it happened. Florence was there, floundering about, and Rosemary demanding to go to her aid. I had Florence and Rosemary’s part of the story worked out. The only problem was that I didn’t have the other half of the story.
I explored a bunch of different ideas, but none of them fitted, or they were too complicated. Finally, I sat down for a virtual write-in with some friends. We set the time and they sat down to write, me to brainstorm. I wrote a list of ten possible supernatural elements to explore. As I stared at my list, it occurred to me that some of them could combine very well together…
One of the items on my list was bog people—I knew that for Florence to develop her inner strength, she needed to be separated from Rosemary and her father. I envisaged an isolated house completely cut off from the rest of the country. What could make it so hard to get to? Bogs?
Completely by chance, a few months earlier this article from the Smithsonian had popped up on my Facebook feed. At the time I’d read it, been impressed, read a couple of other articles, then moved on, with no idea that I’d be returning to the idea of bog people one day. Much like Rosemary, the bog people had other ideas…
Note: the article linked above contains photos of bog people, bodies preserved by marshes.
When retrieving the above article, I discovered a new one: bog bodies may be at risk: